21 March 2018

Trump's Jerusalem decision: How the world is reacting

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As news broke that President Trump will announce a plan Wednesday to begin the lengthy process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Palestinian's ruling party tweeted images of demonstrators burning photographs of the U.S. leader in Manger Square. reports citing USA Today that, but unlike past incidents that were considered major provocations in the Muslim world, there were few early signs of mobilization by radical Islamists who had rallied simultaneous deadly demonstrations in multiple countries.

The tweet by Fatah's official Titter account, @fateorg, said: "Photos of American President Donald Trump burn in Manger Square in Bethlehem. #HandsOffAlQuds"

Fatah runs the Palestinian Authority, which in 2016 received $450 million from the State Department, according to reporting by The Times of Israel.

Islamists organized violent and fiery rallies in 2006, after the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 editorial cartoons, most depicting Islam's prophet Mohammad. Large demonstrations took place in almost every majority-Muslim country and across Europe. A riot in Benghazi, Libya, resulted in 10 deaths, and several Western embassies were attacked in Lebanon and Syria.

Islamists rallied violent demonstrations again in 2012 after a film denigrating the prophet appeared on the Internet. Those rallies resulted in deaths of four protesters outside the U.S. embassy in Sana'a, Yemen, and at least four deaths in Tunis, amid demonstrations that engulfed the region.

The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem warned Tuesday of possible demonstrations in Jerusalem's Old City and the West Bank on Wednesday and restricted government employees and their families from personal travel to those areas.

The State Department recently advised American diplomatic posts in predominantly Muslim countries to be vigilant about possible protests.

While Palestinians may hold demonstrations against the decision, and Arab leaders may condemn it, violent extremists generally have not rallied to the Palestinian cause, said Aaron David Miller, vice president for new initiatives at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

If there were opportunities they would have moved against Israel already, said Miller, a former U.S. peace negotiator.

Groups like the Islamic State, which is active in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula to Israel's south, and al-Qaeda, which is active in Syria and the Sinai, are more concerned with confronting the Arab governments in Egypt, with killing Christians and Zaidis in Iraq, and fighting to preserve their territory in those countries, Miller said.

"Al-Qaeda has left the Israelis alone through three Gaza wars, in 2008, 2012 and 2014," he said

2017.12.06 / 14:48
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